Scott LaPierre Ministries
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus and Us (Luke 18:35-43 and Mark 10:46-52)
The account of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus is found in Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 18:35-43, and Mark 10:46-52. Unbelievers are as spiritually poor and blind as Bartimaeus was physically poor and blind. When they cry out for mercy, he gives them spiritual sight. Like blind Bartimaeus they move from darkness to light, become Jesus’s follower, and glorify him.
Table of contentsMeet Blind BartimaeusHow Much Did People Want to See Jesus?Jesus’s Miracles Were Signs Illustrating Spiritual TruthsMuch of What Jesus Did Physically Pictures What He Wants to Do for Us SpirituallyDon't Miss the "Sign" with BartimaeusLike Blind Bartimaeus, Unbelievers Are BlindLike Blind Bartimaeus, Unbelievers Are PoorContrast the Paralytic's Friends with Bartimaeus's CrowdWhy Was Blind Bartimaeus So Persistent?Like Blind Bartimaeus, Unbelievers Must Cry Out for MercyJesus Healed Blind Bartimaeus Physically and SpirituallyMoving from Unbeliever to BelieverLike Bartimaeus, Believers Move from Darkness to LightLike Bartimaeus, Believers Become Jesus’s FollowersLike Bartimaeus, Believers Glorify GodLike Bartimaeus, Believers Lead Others to Glorify GodSalvation Requires Faith, but not Persistence
Unbelievers are as spiritually poor and blind as blind Bartimaeus the beggar (Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 18:35-43, and Mark 10:46-52).
Spiritual blindness is an inability to understand spiritual truths:
As it is difficult to convey an idea of color to the blind, so it is difficult to describe to [the spiritually blind] the [spiritual truths understood by those] whose eyes have been opened by the Spirit…[Think] of a man who sees, but has no sense of beauty…such is the case of a natural man…on whose ear the sound of the Gospel falls without awakening music in his soul.
James Buchanan, Office and Work, 1842.
In this account a man who serves as a picture of all who are spiritually blind, but then given spiritual sight.
Meet Blind Bartimaeus
Luke 18:35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
In the parallel account in Mark 10:46 we learn the blind beggar’s name is Bartimaeus.
In narratives you should do more than simply read the verses. You will get much more out of your Bible reading when you picture what the verses describe. If you are a parent, when you read the Bible with your children, describe the accounts for them, or ask them to describe the accounts to you. In this account we can appreciate it much more if we picture what we are reading. As we move through the verses, I will do my best to help us understand what this looked like, because I believe it would have been very dramatic to witness.
In Jesus’s day, blindness was a common affliction that had no cure. Because blind people could not work, they had to make their living as beggars. Bartimaeus spent his days sitting by the side of the road begging for money from people who passed by. It is hard to imagine a more miserable existence. Perhaps only a leper's life could rival Bartimaeus’s depressing life. If he was fortunate enough to receive money, he would make his way into Jericho and struggle to buy food. This was a good day. On a bad day, he would spend the night hungry.
Thinking about Bartimaeus’s life, one of the words that comes to mind is boring. I cannot think of many things more boring than spending days sitting on the side of the road begging. One of the only things that could make the boredom worse would be blindness, because then you can’t even see anything of any interest while the hours pass by. But on this day Bartimaeus noticed the excitement:
Luke 18:36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
Bartimaeus had no idea what was happening. He asked those around him, hoping they would be kind enough to answer. Because as we will see in a moment, the crowd was very inconsiderate.